October 9, 2015
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(Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)

Preeclampsia Facts*

*Preeclampsia facts medically edited by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • High blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for the mother and baby.
  • Effects of high blood pressure during pregnancy range from mild to severe.
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) generally begins after the 20th week of pregnancy and is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine.
  • Approximately 6% to 8% of women in the U.S. experience high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Risk factors for preeclampsia include chronic high blood pressure before becoming pregnant; preeclampsia in previous pregnancies; pregnancy occurring under the age of 20 or over the age of 40, multiple gestation; and previous conditions such as lupus, scleroderma, diabetes, kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Symptoms of preeclampsia include persistent headaches, blurred vision, abdominal pain, and sensitivity to light.
  • There is no single test to diagnose preeclampsia.
  • If you have high blood pressure and are thinking of becoming pregnant; keep your blood pressure under control with lifestyle changes; discuss how high blood pressure may affect you and your baby with your doctor; if you take blood pressure medications; discuss how these medications may affect your baby.
  • While you are pregnant avoid alcohol and tobacco, make sure you receive regular prenatal medical care, and discuss any OTC medications you are taking with your doctor.
  • There is no proven way to prevent preeclampsia.

Source: MedicineNet.com

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